Coloring the Universe

Have you seen the first ever black hole image?

Have you heard about Katie Bouman, MIT’s student, whose algorithm helped to process Event Horizon Telescope data?

She is one of the numerous researchers and scientists involved in the EHT project from various institutions. Her engagement and success were actually the base for the event organized April 17th during this year’s STEM Discovery Week campaign – Coloring the Universe.

In the class with girls who showed great interest in astronomy (astronomy is not part of the curriculum), Katie Bouman’s story, her engagement and contribution within the EHT project was a good starting point for the realization of teaching activities. Katie was not only a role model but also an inspiration.

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STEaM micro:bit

This workshop was held on April 25th at Primary school “Sreten Mladenovic Mika”, Nis, Serbia as a part of join activities within NiSTEaM initiative of Scientix Ambassadors from the city of Nis for taking part in SDW 2019. It is an introduction to coding and computer science by way of making and design, using the revolutionary new micro:bit micro controller board, and Microsoft’s easy and powerful MakeCode block-based coding environment. It is a project-based curriculum with a maker philosophy at its core; the idea is that by making physical objects, students create a context for learning the coding and computer science concepts.

We found that existing curriculum for beginners focused mostly on solving math problems or constructing geometric shapes and that there was a certain type of student that signed up for computer science classes and these students were almost always boys. We wondered whether a different approach to teaching the basics of computer programming would be more engaging and also attract a larger variety of different types of students, both boys and girls.

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